Gold Lifetime Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wrightsville Beach, NC
Kinda Sorta New Here-
I joined here over a year ago but haven't done much posting until recently. I have been doing a fair amount of reading for a while though.
I live in Wilmington, NC, and I have to say for a not so big town there are a lot of street rods and hotrods and muscle cars around here. I see quite a few first gen camaros around, and know of 2 guys that own 3 each (one has 3 real 69 z's). One lives less than 1000 feet from me,lol. they aren't museum guys, they are real every day kinda people.
I bought my first camaro at age 20-a 1979 Z-28 which was my best friends car in high school. Very nice car, drove great, we built a warmed over 350 with lots of goodies in it during the summer prior to our junior year in high school. This was 1983. My other best friend had a convertible 68 firebird with a 350 and a stick. My highschool cars were all chevelles.
Fast forward to 2003.
Always liked the first gens, esp the 67/68s. Went to go look at a 1970 chevy truck project that a guy had as I have a '71 shortbed chevy.
I liked the truck, and was close to buying it. He had a 66 chevelle SS project there and we started working a deal that ended up in us trading cars-my 283 powered 67 chevelle that was running at the time for his 454 66 SS that was needing a small amount of work.
While there I saw a lemans blue 68 camaro RS sitting towards the back of his one acre yard at his house.
I really wanted to know the deal on the camaro but knew this was a 6-7 K car as it was 'all together' and didn't look bad from afar. I didn't have anywhere near that on me or saved at the time, and wasn't going to have any for a short while so I didn't ask about it. After spending a couple of hours there chatting with him I just had to ask. I mean lemans blue on a 68 is my all time favorite of the first gens soooooooo......
I asked him what was up with the camaro. I just had to.
He told me a young marine owned it (I live near a large marine corps base) and he was going to have to sell it as he was getting out of the service and going home to Oklahoma and had no way to transport the car. He had 2 weeks or so to sell the car, and here it was out in the middle of nowhere totally out of sight in my friend's back yard.
His next sentance almost put me in cardiac arrest.
The guy would take 2300 bucks for the car. Clear title, real RS, console automatic, power steering, power brakes, AC (no kidding), and my favorite color ( I did some quick decoding, saw the UU on the trim tag-the car was still lemans blue, looked like the original paint) and even had an SS hood on it (burgandy color with stacks).
The RS gril was busted up, and most of the vaccuu parts were missing. The carpet was gone which was cool with me cause I wanted to see the floors anyway. They were MINT, the underneath of this car was unreal. With all of the 60's projects my friends and I have had I have never seen one with floors and rockers like this. Like new.
Had a running 350 with a thm350 and a 10 bolt in it, mono springs. It appeared as though, after deciphering the trim tag and vin to the best of my ability, this was a Van Nuys 327 powered RS with 210 hp originally.
I told my friend to call this guy immediately and tell him the car was sold. I managed to scramble together enough dough over the next 2 weeks to buy the car.
That was 3 years ago and since then I have bought alot of parts on Ebay and at car shows/swap meets for the car. I wanted to wait until i had the funds and time to 'do this car right' and am building it to be kinda factory and at the same time a street/strip car within reason. Nothing too funky or wild.I took it to a paint and body guy 2 weeks ago and had him cut all the body off the car ( the vinyl top did this car in-it rotted down but the floors etc were still pristine) and am replacing it with all goodmark stuff. I had the rest of the car sand blasted and sealed with primer. He will have the quarters, roof, and tail pan on the car tomarrow . He has patched up the dash and firewall. I have alot of work ahead of me, the car is almost totally disassmebled and all I am really reusing only a little of the original stuff-the floors, sub frames, steering column, dash, cowl, firewall, and some suspension componets.
All of the interior was disassembled when I bought it, only the basic guages were left,so I will be leaning on the members here from time to time for a little direction and advice-especially since this is my fist real experience with a first gen camaro.
This site is an invaluable resource for what i am doing, and I appreciate all the info shared here.